Daily Harvest -- 3/30/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Groups seek EPA glyphosate review after WHO 'carcinogenic' link
- Food safety and environmental groups are asking EPA to "strongly weigh" a recent analysis by a World Health Organization (WHO) agency that labeled the widely used herbicide glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic" to humans in its upcoming review of the product.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic Interview with Rep. Mike Pompeo
- (Audio) The Kansas 4th District Representative discusses a national voluntary labeling program that balances the consumer's right to know what's in the food they eat with the industry's need to embrace technology to satisfy the world's growing demand for food.
Agri-Pulse: Hog producers cut back as prices decline
- (Audio) There are 7% more hogs and pigs on American farms than there were a year ago and prices are lower.
Agri-Pulse: Report shows hog herd rebounding from deadly PED virus
- The U.S. hog and pig inventory totaled 65.9 million head as of March 1, up 7.2 percent from a year earlier when the nation's herd was being devastated by the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv).
Agri-Pulse: FDA announces new strategy for animal feed ingredient standards
- The Food and Drug Administration has announced new steps to formalize definitions and standards of animal feed ingredients to bring them into accordance with federal law and regulations.
Agri-Pulse: USDA extends ARC and PLC deadlines
- USDA announced today it will provide one additional week for farm owners and producers to choose between programs available to them under the 2014 Farm Bill. The deadline is extended from March 31 to April 7.
Agri-Pulse: Senate approves budget after shutting down vote-a-rama
- The Senate approved its budget resolution along party lines early Friday after voting on dozens of non-binding amendments and setting aside hundreds of others.
Wall Street Journal: EIG Global Energy to invest $1 billion of debt and equity in Breitburn
- EIG Global Energy Partners agreed to invest $1 billion in Breitburn Energy Partners LP, a publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production company, as energy producers turn to alternative capital sources in an effort to bolster their balance sheets amid slumping oil prices.
Gallop: U.S. Support for Nuclear Energy at 51%
- A slim majority of Americans (51%) now favor the use of nuclear energy for electricity in the U.S., while 43% oppose it. This level of support is similar to what Gallup found when it last measured these attitudes two years ago, but it is down from the peak of 62% five years ago.
Portland Press Herald: Who pays for solar? Utilities, energy firms disagree
- One of the more recurring disagreements before the legislature’s Energy Committee at a recent meeting centered on whether residents with solar panels are really paying for all they get from the power grid.
Daily Nebraskan: How UNL cut its energy usage nearly in half during the 21st century
- In 2000, following a decade-long building boom, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln nearly reached peak energy usage.
FOOD & NUTRITION
The Washington Post: Why investors like AOL co-founder Steve Case are betting big on food
- Before Steve Case co-founded America Online 30 years ago and became a billionaire, his second job out of college was helping develop new styles of slices in Wichita, Kansas, for Pizza Hut.
New York Post: The controversial rise of the ‘Food Babe’
- Increasingly, nonprofits and bloggers are pressuring Big Food to remove chemicals and preservatives from their products — or face the wrath of social media.
The Hill: GMO bill intensifies federal food fight
- The fight over the labeling of genetically engineered food is heating up on Capitol Hill, as safety advocates mount a campaign to beat back industry-backed legislation that would leave the nation without a mandatory labeling standard.
Wall Street Journal: Tom Vilsack - A half-baked GOP plan for food stamps
- (Opinion) The House Republican proposal to block grant the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is ill-timed and ill-advised.
Wall Street Journal: White House issues plan to fight drug-resistant bacteria
- The White House on Friday issued the most extensive plan ever to fight drug-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, seeking to curb antibiotic use at farms and hospitals—and promote discovery of lethal bugs and antibiotics to kill them.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Minnesota finds 3rd bird flu infection in commercial poultry
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Saturday confirmed the third infection of a virulent strain of avian flu in a commercial poultry flock in Minnesota, the nation's top turkey-producing state.
farmdoc daily: The footprint of Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans
- Due in large part to record plantings and yield, the U.S. produced 3.969 billion bushels of soybeans in 2014. Of this total, USDA's March 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) projects for the U.S. to export 1.79 billion bushels of soybeans during the 2014-2015 marketing year. The primary destination? China.
Choices: Will China import more corn?
- The growth and modernization of China’s livestock industry has rocked global soybean markets in recent years and many expect a similar impact on world corn markets in coming years.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
The Press Democrat: California agriculture industry could lose $1 billion in two years because of drought
- California agriculture is in line for $1 billion in losses this year and next, on the heels of a drought-induced $1.5 billion hit in 2014, UC Davis scientists said.
Oregon Live: Drought, early spring warmth force Oregon agriculture to prepare for tough year – or years
- John O'Keefe usually grows his own hay, but probably won't cut any this year because water is scarce in Southeastern Oregon's Warner Valley.
The Press Democrat: Despite flush reservoirs, Sonoma County water officials stress need for conservation
- As California confronts its fourth year of drought and the window for any significant spring rainfall closes, the North Coast has more water in storage than a year ago and is in better position than much of the state to meet its supply needs during the traditionally warm, dry months ahead.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Tobacco farms facing new guidelines to protect workers
- Tobacco farmers would be better protected from nicotine poisoning under new guidelines from the Obama administration.
U-T San Diego: Baja farm workers push for more pay
- As thousands of farm workers headed for the strawberry fields of these low coastal valleys early Saturday, hundreds of others prepared to ride buses across Baja California, continuing the campaign launched this month for higher wages and improved working conditions in the region’s export-oriented farms.
Agri-Pulse: A special video tribute to Ambassador Clayton Yeutter
- In case you missed the premier of this video during the Agri-Pulse Ag Day event, here’s a chance to learn more about Clayton Yeutter and the important role he’s played in expanding international trade and efforts to honor his legacy at the University of Nebraska.
Sacramento Bee: Linden farmer facing trial over claim he pulled pistol on federal agent
- On a sunny February morning just over three years ago, Andrew Watkins was plowing a safflower field on farmland his family has owned for generations. He saw a stranger walking on his property to the east.
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